“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should live in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Grace is wonderful. God is a Giver. He smiles when He fashions a sunrise, a new baby, a redeemed life, the love of family and friends. God does love to give. Thank God for grace!
But do we have a role in receiving grace? I say yes, not in the sense that we earn anything, but in the sense that we make ourselves available to God. God doesn’t take hold of a closed fist. We must open our hands to receive, and that requires a little willingness and work. We were created for good works, and as we engage in these works we place ourselves more deeply in the stream of God’s Providence.
We are to always keep asking, seeking, knocking, and striving, but God does the directing and the building. In this holy union, life becomes sweet and meaningful.
Years ago I ran across a poem called “Bike Secrets” (author unknown) that summarizes God’s work in our lives, and our work for Him. I hope it sets a good tone for you at the beginning of this week.
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of things I did wrong
so as to know if I merited heaven or hell when I die.
He was out there, sort of like a President.
I recognized his picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know him.
But later when I met Christ
It seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
But it was a tandem bike and I noticed that Christ was in the back
Helping me to peddle.
I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places
but life has never been the same since.
When I had control, I know the way,
but it was rather boring and predictable.
I always took the shortest distance between two points.
But when Christ took the lead, He knew delightful long-cuts up mountains
And through rocky places at break-neck speeds.
It was all I could do to hang on.
And even though it looked like madness, He said,
I was worried and anxious and so I said, “Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer.
That’s when I learned that I was going to have to trust Him.
I soon forgot my boring life in every one of our adventures together,
And when I got scared, He simply leaned back, touched my hand and said,
He took me to people with gifts that I needed;
Gifts of healing, acceptance and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey and off we were again.
He would say, “Give the gifts away. They are baggage, too much weight.”
So I did, to people we met.
And I found that in giving, I received.
And the journey continued and our burden was light.
I did not trust him at first to take control of my life.
I thought he would wreck it. But He knows bike secrets.
He knows how to take sharp corners, and how to clear rocks,
And He can do things I never would have done if I were in control.
And I am learning to shut up and peddle in the strangest places.
I am beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face
With my delightful companion, Jesus Christ.
And when I’m not sure I can do it anymore,
He leans back, smiles and says: Just peddle!
Dr. Terry Ellis
July 26, 2015